The success of Valve's Steam Deck console has clearly inspired numerous makers of gaming hardware to try their luck with portable gaming systems. One of such companies is MSI, which introduced its Claw handheld console at CES. The Claw A1M mobile console uses Intel's latest Core Ultra 'Meteor Lake' platform along with Windows 11 operating system and is compatible with the vast majority of PC games.

MSI's Claw game console is equipped with a 7-inch touch-enabled IPS LCD display with a 1920x1080 resolution, a 120 Hz refresh rate, and an up to 500 nits typical brightness (which is akin to luminance of premium laptops), which is similar to what Asus ROG Ally offers. As for audio, the gaming device comes equipped with two 2W speakers.

The Claw A1M console is powered by Intel's latest Core Ultra 155H 'Meteor Lake' system-on-chip with six high-performance cores, eight energy-efficient cores, two low-power cones, and a built-in Arc GPU with eight Xe tiles (1024 stream processors, eight ray tracing units). The processor is paired with 16 GB of dual-channel LPDDR5-6400 memory and an SSD in an M.2-2230 form-factor as well as a PCIe Gen4 x4 interface.

To ensure consistent performance of the unit under high loads, MSI equipped it with a cooling system featuring several heat pipes and two fans. Keeping in mind that the processor has a minimum assured power of 20W and a processor base power of 28W, it indeed needs proper cooling. That cooling system of course adds quite some weight, which is why the console weighs 675 grams.

On the connectivity side of matters, MSI's Claw certainly does not disappoint as it features an Intel Killer BE1750 Wi-Fi 7 + Bluetooth 5.4 adapter, a Thunderbolt 4 connector (which naturally supports a DisplayPort output and charging capability), a microSD card reader, and an audio jack for headsets.

As for ergonomics, MSI's Claw has a typical set of controllers, including two sticks, a D-Pad, bumpers, ABXY buttons, and triggers. In addition, MSI equipped its Claw with macro buttons, to make playing games that require tricky combinations on the controller easier.

MSI says that its Claw can work for up to two hours from its 53 Wh battery, which is something to expect given the processor it uses and capacity of the battery. Perhaps, those who would like to enjoy longer gaming sessions while on the go will need to get an external battery and use the TB4 port to charge the console rapidly.

Two distinctive features of MSI's Claw portable game console is MSI's Center M dedicated interface that provides easy access to games as well as App Player that allows to play Android games on the Windows 11 device. There are of course similar emulators available for all Windows PCs, but at least MSI pre-installs the player by default.

For now, MSI remains tight lipped about pricing and launch date for its Claw portable game console.

Source: MSI

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  • TheProv - Wednesday, January 10, 2024 - link

    Any chance of you guys reviewing/testing these handeld consoles?
  • StevoLincolnite - Wednesday, January 10, 2024 - link

    They can't even test a GPU... Big hopes on them doing a handheld.
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, January 11, 2024 - link

    It always makes me laugh a little to see someone ask AT to review a thing and, in fairness, sad as well since I've been reading regularly here for well over 20 years. At least most of the employees also write and publish at THG
  • GeoffreyA - Wednesday, January 10, 2024 - link

    Without reference to the merit of this product, it makes me think of Liar, Liar :)
  • garygech - Wednesday, January 10, 2024 - link

    It has more memory than the base MacBook Pro, has a superior graphics processor than the MacBook Pro, has a faster chip than the MacBook Pro, has a library of games that are well established and cross over seamlessly. This device is the first, not the last, and will effectively block Apple gaming growth in the gaming sector beyond casual use. The technology of Intel, not Apple, with drive this segment forward as the chips get better and better on American Fabrication facilities in Ohio. Apple, a big player, has decided to expand its media delivery through VR, a platform where almost nobody has succeeded. MSI is simply delivering a product where other have succeeded, it is step wise innovation, not wild swings at future markets that might not materialize, it is a very good move.
  • garygech - Wednesday, January 10, 2024 - link

    This is a launch of a premium product based on an expensive new chip design, that is best in class. Intel® Core™ Ultra processors (Series 1), Meteor Lake, Processor Number 155H, Customer Price $503.00. They are placing 16 GB of memory on the system on a chip, and by 2025, there will be options for 32 GB of memory on the system of a chip at reasonable prices. Many AA games will be optimized in about 2 years for 32 GB of memory, with the ability to run seamless at 1080 P, which is all generally what is needed in this form factor, it is well established, and higher resolutions don't translate into more enjoyable gameplay. Windows 11 is a beast of an operating system in its cross platform capability. I prefer MacOS, but the growth is simply not there moving forward, especially in gaming. The device also may translate into a shift in console sales towards Microsoft XBox platforms, as it serves the portable cross over needs of the gamers.
  • dontlistentome - Friday, January 12, 2024 - link

    Bot bot bot
  • ET - Thursday, January 11, 2024 - link

    Price will make or break this device.

    I don't expect this to beat Ryzen 7840U (or Z1 Extreme, or 8840U) in modern games. Its saving grace might be older games that don't need more then the efficiency cores to run, which will allow the device to run for a long time as long as the iGPU doesn't take too much power. Too many if's.
  • Mil0 - Monday, January 15, 2024 - link

    "But in any event it's clear from these results that Arc Graphics with Core Ultra can compete or outperform AMD RDNA3 integrated graphics while leading in performance-per-Watt."

    At the moment, windows perf seems to be even a bit better still. So given a similar device, intels chip could be very interesting competition.

    However, up to 2 hours of battery is just dissapointing

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